Meeting Summary

Water Data & Science Committee

December 13, 2018

1 p.m. Mtn, 2 p.m. Central; 3 p.m. Eastern Time

  1. Call to Order—Chair Amy Shallcross DRBCcalled to order at 3:05 EST
  2. Introductions of Participants on the call

Amy Shallcross, DRBC and Chair; Brian Atkins, Alabama DECA; Becca Fong, KISTERS; Chad Wagner, USGS; Ken Brazil, Arkansas NRC; Molly Maupin, USGS; Michael Hill, PA DEQ; Mike Woodside, USGS; Peter Gill, Wyoming WDO; Sara Larsen, WSWC; Sue Lowry, ICWP; Tom Littlepage, Alabama DECA, Randy Hadland, YSI.

  • Webinar presentation on USGS Next Generation Water Observation System:
    • Chad Wagner and Mike Woodside, Groundwater and Streamflow Information Program –Program Director and Deputy Program Director

Mike Woodside went through a presentation on the NGWOS.  (PowerPoint can be found on ICWP.org)

  • Model improvements is a large factor in gage placing. NGWOS is enjoying support from Congress and Asst. Sec Tim Petty.
  • Map of 21 watersheds across the country and still looking at launching in about 10 across the country.  The funds for the Delaware pilot came late in last fiscal year. Installing 17 new streamgages, enhancing 38, adding water temperature at 25 and SC at 10.  Ability for two-way communication at gages. Non-contact sensors (alternative gages-implementing new capabilities) 
  • Stakeholder meeting in January in Delaware River basin. 
  • Modeling and gaps make feedback loop for then improving the modeling and better knowing how to best equip the basin.
  • Long term vision of funding support is that as a basin is networked, then those gages would be continued and would hopefully get funding to start the next basin elsewhere in the US.  Some elements of NGWOS will be rotational, but some intensive sites would remain long-term. 
  • Get assessment from Chad and Mike after Delaware River basin stakeholder meeting and how system is getting installed and initiated. Updates on NGWOS should stay as a continuing agenda item for this committee.   
  • Is there a water use component to NGWOS? In areas where water use data might be collected, still not good data delivery methods for making these data available to the public. 
  • Committee Charge and Potential Work Plan Items

Amy asked all of the committee members to take a few moments and give their highest priorities from this list of potential work items for the Committee, or to suggest other topics.  Amy emphasized that we are not just trying to put together a list of “current events” but want the committee actions to focus in areas where we can provide constructive input to our federal partners on the programs we use and rely upon.

  1. Potential ICWP Support of other USGS Efforts
    1. Water-Use Data and Research

Many participants mentioned aspects of water use reporting or water use data collection in their priority list.  Molly Maupin will be asked to present a webinar for the Jan. meeting of this Committee. Irrigation use in particular was mentioned as a needed area for work. Ken asked whether there was a report anywhere listing all of the states and what their statutory authorities are for collecting water use data.  Molly may be able to address this topic from the information that each state was to provide in the first round of WUDR grants. Amy suggested that water use could be a panel topic at the next annual meeting and a few states could report on their authorities. It was also discussed that ICWP could send a formal request letter to the USGS asking for the state-by-state compilation of water use authorities and reporting by water users. 

  1. Review of NAS Study on USGS Water Discipline
    1. Multi-Signature support letter for Streamgaging Programs

Continuing this is important.

  1. D & S Committee participation with the Streamflow Information Collaborative Workgroup of the Advisory Committee on Water Information

Quality control related to data collected by non-USGS entities

  • Position Paper or other action to counter the current attacks on science and science’s role in decision making
    • Other items the Committee could explore:
      • Flash Droughts/NIDIS
      • Internet of Water

Once Peter Colohan is on the job for a while as the new Executive Director at the Internet of Water, we could ask him to give a presentation to the committee. 

  1. Data Portals/Data Exchange
    1. National Water Model Priorities

Scenario planning as a part of the National Water Model was mentioned. 

  • Tracking of Emerging Tools or Trends in Water Data/Science
    • Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations
    • Seasonal to Sub-Seasonal Forecasting
    • Better modeling of estimated flows at ungaged locations
    • Remote Sensing
      • ET estimations over larger geographical areas
      • Snow forecasting and better run off estimations from snowpack
    • Western States Water Council’s Water Information Systems workshop in Sioux Falls, April, 2019
    • Other items for the Committee’s consideration
  • Next call or webinar—Scheduling and discussion on frequency

Amy will check with Molly Maupin on her availability to present a webinar in Jan. and a date will be selected accordingly and distributed to the committee members.